The Power of Preview
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It used to be that when you had a PDF, that was it.... what you had was what you had, you couldn't make any changes.

Now, with Preview, you can make some changes and turn that plain PDF into something more interesting and informative.

Not only can Preview be used to annotate PDFs, it can also be used to annotate and resize pictures.

If your computer is not set to open PDFs in Preview, drag the PDF on top of the Preview icon in your dock and it will open in Preview.

Note: If Preview is not on your dock, you can find it in your Applications folder. Drag to your dock for easy access.

Preview Toolbar - Version 7.0

Picture is of Toolbar with the Edit Toolbar open.

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Working with PDFs

  • When PDFs are opened in Preview, you have the ability to annotate PDFs. You can add shapes, highlight, add text boxes, and add notes (or comments).
  • If the PDF is more than one page long, you have the ability to delete and/or re-order the pages. In addition to that, you can combine PDF pages.
  • Preview allows you to create and add an electronic signature to any PDF.

Annotating PDFs

You can turn the PDF on the left into the PDF on the right by using tools found in the Annotation Toolbar.
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Click here to see the annotated PDF. On it you will find these items added:
  • A Note giving additional information
  • A colored frame around the title for interest
  • A "More Info" link within the title frame to cite where the information came from, click to go to the 6+1 Trait Writing website
  • Colored text for additional information
  • Highlighting for emphasis
  • Underlining for emphasis
  • Shapes added to accent information


PDF Views

  • Click here to see Different PDF Views in Preview
  • In the Thumbnail view, you can rearrange/delete pages of a PDF
  • In the Thumbnail view, you can pull individual pages to your Desktop
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Create an Electronic Signature

  • Create an electronic signature to electronically sign documents
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Working with Pictures


  • You can annotate pictures just as you can PDFs.
  • You can adjust the picture size and resave it. This is good for making pictures smaller in file size for web use.
  • You can make a background color transparent.

Annotate Pictures

  • As with PDFs, you can annotate a picture, You can add text, shapes, etc. to make your picture more informative.
  • Preview was used to annotate this picture. Text boxes and shapes were added to point out different parts of the picture.
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Adjusting Picture Size

  • With the picture open in Preview, go to “Tools” and down to “Adjust Size...”
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  • When adjusting the picture width and height, you have several measurement options.
  • A width of 650 pixels (or under) is often a good size to use. 450 pixels or less is best when resizing pictures for your teacher web page.
  • It is usually best to keep the box checked to scale the picture proportionally. When this box is checked, you only need to change one number and the second number is calculated automatically.
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Instant Alpha - Making a background color disappear.


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